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Tartare - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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Tartare
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BA SCORE
96
world-class

502 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 502
Reviews: 93
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 9.7%
Wants: 174
Gots: 14 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Bear Republic Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Berliner Weissbier |  4.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ChrisPro on 11-19-2011

One of the world's classic sour beer styles, Tartare is Bear Republic's interpretation of Berliner Weisse, the tart, low-alcohol beer style dubbed as "The Champagne of the North."

Bronze medal at the 2011 Festival of Wood and Barrel Aged Beer in the Wild Beer/Acidic Category
Winner at 2013 Good Food Awards, Adventurous, Barreled, Big, Bawdy, & Belgian Beer Category
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 502 | Reviews: 93
Reviews by Philousa:
More User Reviews:
Photo of BenHesk12
4.16/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Delivered on tap at Pi Bar, San Francisco CA. The beer appears a light yellow to pear color with little to no head whatsoever. No hoppy aroma but upon further sniffing one can get a slight tinge of the sourness. Upon sipping an instantly and somewhat overwhelmingly sour flavor hits the palate, but in an appreciable and exciting way. Low alcohol flavor and invites you to drink bigger sips. Wonderful delicate mouth feel provides contrast to the strong sour flavor. Good to see Bear Republic really trying to make something special and I wholeheartedly approve.

Photo of ehammond1
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On Tap

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

Cloudy yellow with a pillowy, off-white head that leaves the glass messy with sheets of lace down the glass.

Good amounts of lactic sourness, lemon, and wheat: complete and powerful.

The flavor is similar to the aroma with big levels of lemon, sourness, and what making this an incredibly drinkable American berliner.

Medium bodied with high carbonation.

Great stuff!

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.63/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap on the Triple Rock roof during Sourfest. Chunky yellow haze, much like a brighter hefeweizen. Aroma had all the lemon and tartness you could want.

Taste, holy jeez, this is the most sour berlinner weisse I've ever had. And uh, probably no coincidence its also my favorite. Just packs a ton of tartness into this, massive pucker factor going for it, thoroughly enjoyable though. Massively acidic. Everything is massive but the alcohol, oh the joys of a berlinner.

Bear Republic is so hit or miss with their barrel beers, and this is definitely (even if rare) one of the hits, and its a solid home run. Could drink this all day. Nice light woodiness to it.

Please for the love of God, bottle this beer!

Photo of 01001111
3.04/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

A: very light yellow. Bubbles flee quickly.

S: Sweet and tart. The malts are far more present than a typical Berliner.

T: Pickle juice with a sweet, malty finish. Quite odd, not typical of the style.

M: Puckering then almost cloying.

O: Not bad but not a great representation of the style.

Photo of mdaschaf
4.49/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes. Had on tap at the Burgundian.

A: Tartare was a hazy straw/yellow color with a small white head on top which reduced to a thin ring. Minimal lacing.

S: Lightly tart, nice wheat aroma. Light citrus, some lemon and lemon zest, slightly acidic. Very nice.

T: Really nice acidity for a berliner, nice and tart. Some wheat, a bit of apple and pear, light citrus. More sour than the aroma, and I am loving it.

M: Light to medium bodied, extremely easy drinking.

O: An amazing Berliner, probably the best I have had. Great sour/tartness for style with plenty of fruit flavor.

Photo of augustgarage
4.09/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from cursory notes; on-tap at Tony's Darts Away - served in a goblet.

Opaque, jonquil/gold liquid with no head or lacing to speak of.

Pungent tart aromatics suggest chardonnay and minerals (didn't realize this beer spent some time in French Oak, but in retrospect this isn't surprising), kiwi and white wine vinegar.

Bracing sourness with a fruit-laden freshness. Dry citrus-y finish with a hint of the mineral character found in the nose. Would hold up to a flavored syrup if served in the traditional manner (apple or pear especially), though it is pleasing on its own if you enjoy sour beers (though this isn't a great place to start if you haven't already been initiated). A good balance of lemon/lactic/wheat adding to the pucker.

Brisk lightly carbonated mouth-feel - perhaps a touch flat but not bad.

A very good version of the style, with some measured creativity on display from the exposure to wood.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.03/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at The Stag's Head. Served in a pint glass.

Cloudy with no head, no lace, and seemingly no carbonation. Color is banana. Not the best for the style.

Nose is clean and crisp. Some lemon tartness with lactic acid and some other citrus notes. Solid.

The most tart berliner I've had to date. Big lemon and citrus notes. Some sour peaches also. Finishes off with lactic acidity. Sharp tartness in the aftertaste. Really good.

Light bodied with moderate to low carbonation. Smooth and juicy in the mouth and puckering going down. Messy finish with a slightly lingering aftertaste. This could use a bit more bubbles to complement the flavor.

I don't know if this is deserving of being the #1 ranked berliner. That being said, this is different than any other beer I've had from the style. Super tart and juicy and very refreshing. Surely worth trying.

Photo of dirtylou
4.72/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

on-tap, bottleworks, no f*cking syrup

12oz pour - unbranded tulip - slightly clouded straw-yellow beer with a nice fluffy white cap. Aroma is overwhelmingly tart - grassy, lemon rind, sugar. I'm somewhat of a novice in the style, but this was pretty staggering. Easily one of the tartest beers I've ever consumed - sugars, lemon, wheat, lactic. Pretty intense stuff, and from the looks of it, A WHALE

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.21/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at City Beer. Poured into a 12 oz. straight sided glass.

Appearance - Kind of a urine yellow. Hazy with no head. Not a terribly impressive look.

Smell - Lemon acidity with grainy wheat. A touch citrusy, aside from the lemon. Good, though simple.

Taste - Quite sour. Strong lactic acidity. Lemony. The wheat comes through in the background. Solid Berliner flavors.

Mouthfeel - Light. Well carbonated. Sour, but not the sourest I've had. Balanced and refreshing.

Overall - Excellent unfruited Berliner. I'm spoiled in Florida, but this is quite good.

Photo of Kegatron
4.15/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

64 oz growler into several glasses. Big thanks go to Stakem for generously sharing this with the wife and me during a recent tasting.

Pours a hazed pale gold, topped with roughly a half finger of bright-white head. This mostly retains with a foamy ring around the edges of the glass, leaving back a frothy cascade of lace down the sides. The aroma smells of lemon, oak, acidity, and some light notes of vanilla and grainy sweetness along the back. Dry chardonnay character hangs on the edges of this, adding a bit of alcohol warmth to this.

The taste is lemon tartness with an acidic edge to it that then gets more lactic feeling across the back. The dryness of the barrel comes in off the edges and creeps into the finish of this. The wheat just sits in the background but nearly gets overrun by the tart/sourness here. The mouthfeel is lighter bodied and mellow feeling on the tongue but things do get a bit more sprightly feeling throughout the rest of the body.

Well this was certainly interesting. It’s hard to take this one as a straight up Berliner Weiss experience, as the barrel and funkiness definitely took this to an another place. Still, I’m glad to say that I’ve tried it. It’s a wood-aged Berliner Weiss for CRYING OUT LOUD!

Photo of beerloverofbham
4.44/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed at Brouwer's Cafe during Sour Fest. Served in a snifter.
Color of pale straw, and cloudy--almost looks like fresh farm stand lemonade. Smells lactic, with light hints of peach and citrus. Lots of lacto up front at first taste, with notes of apricot and lemon peel. Little to no wheatiness. Good mouthfeel, but no lacing on the glass whatsoever. Finishes very clean.

Photo of emerge077
4.23/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Early beer at FoBAB '12, three pours in the festival taster glass, around 10-12 oz. total.
Quick review from notes.

Very pale straw color in the glass, nearly a pastel shade it was somewhat hazy and glowed when held to the light. Thin layer of white foam on the surface that stuck around for the first couple sips. Aroma had a whiff of sulfur at first, but this blew off fairly quickly, revealing sour lemon, sharp lacto, and faint supporting notes of grainy wheat in the background. Extremely tart, more of an explosive sourness that builds quickly and vanishes just as fast. Very crisp and clean, puckering lemon and dry like champagne in the finish. A well crafted Berliner Weisse, much more sour than most. Extremely drinkable and refreshing, the low abv was welcome and it certainly stood out as a memorable beer early on, preceeding a night full of booze monsters.

Photo of Rutager
4.43/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Bottleworks today.

Appearance. Pours a very light and hazy straw with a thin bubbly white head that doesn't stick around.

Smell. Nice light brett funk, tart apples and lemons with a hint of light grains.

Taste. Nice and tart with a lemon-like sourness. A little bit of lemon and sour apples, with a light funkiness.

Mouthfeel. Light body with medium-strong carbonation. Just perfect.

Overall. Blown away by this one. Nice and sour, unlike some berliner weisse's I've had before. Even at $8 for 10oz, I had to have a second glass. Wishing I had bought a growler!!

Photo of vandemonian
4.27/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tartare is a delicious and very sour example of this style.

A. Yellow couloir and a head that fades to nothing. 3.5

S. sour with a little rotten fruit funk. 4

T. Sour with some fruity tang. Damn. Mouth puckering. Clean finish. 4.5

M. Low carbonation. 4

O. 4.5

Photo of nataku00
4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap poured into a snifter. Beer poured a light straw yellow color with a slight haze. Minimal head with minor lacing, but a few bubbles of carbonation here and there.

Nose is funky, earthy, with sour fruit, lemon and peach skins.

Taste showcases the fruity notes, sour lemon, lighter stone fruits, earthy, funky, and woody. Hint of mineral flavor at the back of the tongue. Drying and sour on the tongue.

Light body with some decent zesty carbonation makes this very refreshing. What a surprisingly excellent sour beer from Bear Republic.

Photo of FeDUBBELFIST
4.62/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

9oz snifter for $6.75
Sampled 04SEP12

Menu description: "Tartare is a dry and tart Berliner-style wheat beer spontaneously fermented in a 2500 gallon oak vessel."

[A] Arrives with a quarter finger of fluffy, bright head that fizzes out after a few seconds. A thin bubbly collar remains. The body is a cloudy pale creamsicle color - absolutely glowing in the glass. No lacing but very attractive nonetheless.

[S] The nose is fantastic and heavily lactic. Lemons mixed with general orange and citrus aromas. While I do miss the Brett character, the nose does just fine without it.

[T] Flavor ends with a relentless lemon-forward acidity, which is great, but the level of refreshment takes a hit. Bright lemony acid rips through the sugar crystal substrate. Lightly dusty on the finish.

[M] Strikingly tart on first sip. And very light and snappy on the finish. The mouthfeel gives the jaw muscles a serious workout, which is great, but does hinder drinkability to a degree.

[O] Berliner traditionalists would probably cringe upon trying this brew but I quite enjoyed it for the enamel and esophagus eating qualities that I experienced.

Photo of jmarsh123
4.56/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a sharp golden color with a small fluffy white head that dissolves into a ring in short time.

Lots of lacto in the nose. Strong lemon aroma. Don't get much grainy wheat from the nose.

Similar flavors as the nose and it is wonderful. Tons of lemon tartness up front with a little apple as well. Relentlessly sour and puckering throughout it finishes very dry and oaky.

Light bodied, but probably fuller than most berliners with good carbonation levels. Supremely dry finish.

Not sure why this is a Berliner weiss. Scored as that, it would be much lower since it's too tart and oaky with not nearly enough grainy wheat that is standard for the style. As an American Wild, it is sublime and one of the best ones I've had so I've scored it as such. If you want a great American Wild try this beer. If you want a traditional Berliner look elsewhere though.

Photo of wedge
3.51/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

@ Tyler's (Carrboro)

Hazy pale straw topped with a minimal, wispy white head that vanishes, leaving the beer looking rather still. Smells like big-time acetic, lactic lemon. Flavor is sour...like, Warheads sour. Lactic, acidic, crisp lemon juice tartness that obscures whatever other flavors might be trying to poke through. Don't get me wrong, this was fun to try, I enjoyed it like I do overly spicy food; it's just one great big sour kick in the teeth without any grainy wheat for depth. Light, crisp, puckering. Too intensely acidic and one dimensional for the style and I can't imagine drinking more than maybe 10 oz. Expensive too, which in addition to the crushing sourness makes the whole thing seem more of a novelty than a truly sessionable Berliner.

Photo of RaulMondesi
4.31/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Raul is all up in it with his first experience at Toronado (San Diego). Like Mr Howell the III when he isn't stranded on Gilligan's Island, diggin into some tartare it is.

Light, crisp, refreshing... Like watching Lily Aldridge using a loofa, Raul can get used to this.

Photo of largadeer
4.35/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, a nice sour from Bear Republic for a change. On tap at Toronado. Hazy straw hued body with a thin head that doesn't provide much stickage. Great lacto and grain aroma, a bit sourdough-like. Little funkiness, too. Bright, sharp, acidic palate, pretty citrusy with a pleasant lacto profile that's extremely refreshing. Touch of pineapple, grain, not much oak or barrel to speak of. Brief, thirst quenching finish. Drank a few of these and could have had more, low ABV with a ton of flavor. Drank this side by side with Cable Car 2010 and found this better.

Photo of metter98
4.32/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Good Beer, New York, NY

A: The beer is hazy pale light yellow in color. It poured with virtually no head—just some hints of lacing on the surface.
S: There are moderately strong aromas of sourness in the nose.
T: The overall taste is quite sour and has flavors of oak and notes of grapes. The flavors and sourness especially linger through the finish.
M: It feels light-bodied and extremely tart on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There is some dryness.
O: This beer is light and refreshing, but takes a long time to sip given the heavy amount of sourness.

Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.44/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from tap into tulip at Alamo in Sterling, VA. WOW!
The pour is nothing to look at,,,super yellow - almost looks like lemonade. Smell is super tart and lots of sourness...awesome. Lemony, grainy, and a bit of ever so salty flavor...tart finish with a huge sourness...unlike any Berliner Weiss ive had. This is way more tart and sour than most...but simply awesome. Probably the best BW ive ever had...I hope to have this again one day.

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.44/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Stone SourFest.

A: Pours a very slightly chill hazed pale yellow with no head or lace.

N: Fruits (grape, lemon citrus, apple), grass and damp hay.

T: Tartly acidic, grainy wheat, lemon zest, faint oak. Like spring sunshine in a glass.

M: Lite body and carbonation. Brightly acidic tart finish.

O: A highlight of the event. Sitting under a tree, listening to the fake stream flow past in the garden. Very nice indeed.

Photo of ChrisPro
4.08/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft at FoBaB 2011.

A - Cloudy golden with a foamy white head that dissipates quickly.

S - Nice funk. Some hay, a little earthy spice and some good lemon zest.

T - A bit grassy, then nice lemon tartness. Incredibly drinkable. A bit more tart than other berliners, but I really liked it.

M - a bit fuller than I expected, and felt like the ABV might be a bit high for the style, but it had mild carbonation that worked well.

O - Super drinkable and nice and complex. Lots going on with this beer and I went back for a couple servings. Well made berliner that I would drink often.

Photo of MNishCT77
4.71/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

On-tap at GBD in DuPont Circle, NW D.C., poured into a 10 oz. tulip glass, drank 9/20/13 over a half-hour.

A: 3/3 - straw yellow coloration, greater clarity than other wheat beer styles, e.g. hefeweizen, received with little head with very subtle glass lacing; moderate carbonation; no alcohol legs

S: 11/12 - really pungent barnyard sour flavor predominate with some background citrus fruit aroma

T: 19/20 - wow, this is one of the most sour but also most complex Berliner weissebiers that I have ever tasted; on the anterior tongue, there's an immediate pucking tartness but, in the middle of the mouth, I start picking up some more complex flavors beyond just Lacto (perhaps instilled by Brett?); don't taste any alcohol but wouldn't expect much at 4%

M: 4/5 - light-bodied and high carbonation makes it tart and refreshing; very pleasant

O: 9/10 - really tart and complex beer; much better than all of the German examples of the syle that I've tasted to date and maybe the best American Berliner weissebier that I have tasted; it really goes beyond just simple Lacto sourness where most of the other examples (including some of the best end); if you're in D.C. and enjoy sour beers, you need to try this on-draft ASAP!

TOTAL = 46/50

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Tartare from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 502 ratings.